Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Real Mommy Wars: 8 Struggles All Moms Understand

The Mommy Wars are a funny thing—moms fighting amongst themselves about the best ways to be a mom. Organic or not? Breastfeeding or bottle? Homeschooling or public? It's kind of exhausting when you get caught up in reading all of the pros and cons to the many different decisions placed before moms every day.

And I hate it.

Because you know what? Moms are already fighting the inner mommy wars on a daily basis! All moms want the best for their children, their homes, and their marriages. And most moms suffer from some amount of mom guilt because they aren't sure if the decisions they are making are good enough. We tend to look to other moms for approval of the decisions we have made, and too often we are met with judgment instead of support, which only serves to compound the mommy guilt and the internal struggles we all face.

The struggles all Moms understand | what to make for dinner | how to find time for spouse | how to raise good kids | how to stretch a dollar | how to keep things clean and organized | how to find time for yourself

I am so thankful when I find supportive women who help me to ditch the mom guilt and make the best decisions for my own home and family. I've found a lot of those supportive women I am looking for have such a desire to help other moms that they have written books and courses that do just that. Today I want to share with you a few of the struggles we all face as busy wives and mothers and some resources that are sure to help you in your own struggles.

8 struggles all moms understand

(affiliate links)

How to raise good kids

This is the big one, you know? We've brought these children into the world and we love them so much, but man—knowing how to raise them right is a struggle. And that's not to mention how hard it is to always stay calm and loving with them. My biggest personal struggle as a mother is definitely how to keep my temper in check.

Resources that can help:

Happy You, Happy Family by Kelly Holmes

The Temper Toolkit: How to Take Control of Your Temper Before You Lose It by Lisa-Jo Baker

The Mom Reality: What Parenting Handbooks Never Tell You by Erin Myers

Everyday Hope: Real Encouragement for Worn and Weary Moms by Kayse Pratt

How to stretch a dollar as far as possible

I started out my mom journey when my husband was getting his Master's degree and had my youngest right after he graduated with his doctorate. Needless to say, we really had to stretch those dollars in those years. Today, we still have to stretch them because teenagers are expensive and a professor's salary isn't huge. I'm always looking for new ways to budget and save money so that I don't feel totally stressed out every time I pay the mortgage.

Resources that can help:

31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero by Ruth Soukup

Real Life Money Plan: Designing a Money Plan to Fit Your Real Life by Jessi Fearon

How to be Frugal: A Guided 10 Unit Course That Will Teach You How to Be Frugal Online, In the Store, and In Your Home by Jennifer Roscamp

How to Coupon Effectively: How to Save $5200 Per Year In Just 2 Hours Per Week by Lauren Greutman

How to get dinner on the table every night

This might be the worst one for me, personally. I'm super grateful to have a husband who loves cooking and eating way more than I do, so he usually takes this job on happily. But sometimes he can't and that means I have to do it and I feel like I have no ability in this department. But I've got to feed my kids, so learning how to cook and meal plan is pretty essential.

Resources that can help:

What's 4 Dinner Challenge Meal Planning eCourse by Erin Odom and Holly Dvorak

Feeding Toddlers: A Pediatrician's Guide to Happy and Healthy Mealtimes by Dr. Orlena Kerek

Delicious Dinners in Under an Hour by Mique Provost

Slow Cooker Favorites by Lynn Walls

How to find time for dating your husband

My husband and I have gone through periods where we barely see each other because he's busy with work and I'm busy with the kids. I hate those times, because I lose the connection with the person that is my best friend and partner in this whole mom gig. It's really important to do set aside time for each other, no matter what else is going on so that you can keep your relationship with your husband front and center. But there's not denying that it can be a struggle to find that time regularly.

Resources that can help:

52 Dates for Two by The Dating Divas

Boost Your Libido Course by Shelia Wray Gregoire

Making Big Life Changes Together: Pursuing Your Dreams as a Couple by Haley Stewart

Rekindling Romance eKit: 7 Ideas to Help Reginite the Spark by Jami Balmet

How to keep your life and home organized

My house right now as I write this? Not organized. The older my children get, the less time I have to devote to organizing and the more things I need to actually organize. It's a struggle. I love to organize though, it's mostly a matter of staying on top of it and knowing how to organize things in a way that will keep organized. I mean if that's even possible.

Resources that can help:

Clutterfree With Kids: Change Your Thinking, Discover New Habits, Free Your Home by Joshua Becker

Cozy Minimalist Decorating Class by Myquillyn Smith

Overwhelm to Order: The Ultimate Homemaking Binder by Rachel Norman

2017-2018 Personal Planner by Jolanthe Erb

How to keep your house clean

Similar to organization, keeping the house clean is also a struggle. Getting your kids to do their chores so you don't have to clean everything yourself may be an even larger struggle. Finding the time and the know how to get deep cleaning done is something that is hard for me, too. I'm always looking for ways to get more house cleaned faster, aren't you?

Resources that can help: 

Speed Clean the Deep Clean: A Collection of Time Saving Cleaning Tutorials and Tips for Busy Moms by Katelyn Fagan

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Hack Guide by Amy Bellgardt

Minimize the Mess: A Mother's Guide to Simplifying the Home by Rachel Kratz

Family Chore Planner by Mandi Ehman

How to be more productive

I often feel like I am just spinning my wheels because I am not disciplined enough to do everything I could be doing in a day. Or, more likely, I head into the kitchen with the sole intention of cleaning up the breakfast mess and on my way there, I notice that the living room is a mess. So I start cleaning the living room, and go into my daughter's bedroom to put away the shoes she left in the living room and then notice all the things that need to be done in there...and so forth. It's the whole If You Give a Mouse a Cookie scenario, mom style. The fact that I also work from home doesn't help—I need tactics to stay focused and disciplined!

Resources that can help:

Stretched too Thin: 10 Days to Overcoming the Hustle and Thriving as a Working Mom by Jessica Turner

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine

Productivity and Well-Being Ecourse by Lisa Grace Byrne

Your Morning Manual: A Guide and Workbook for Resetting and Maximizing Your Mornings by Emily Bredeson

How to find time for yourself

This just might be the biggest struggle for all moms everywhere. We are so very focused on our children and homes that it often doesn't occur to us to take a little time for self-care—or even that we should! I have also found that sometimes I think I'm taking time for myself and doing a little self-care, but really I am sabotaging myself—perhaps by spending too much time on social media or feeling like indulging in more ice cream is a good thing. Self-care done the right way, though, leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to face your inner mommy battles again.

Resources that can help:

Boundaries and Margins Webinar by Saren Loosli

30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves by Angela Henderson

Bullet Journaling for Book Lovers by Anne Bogel

Breathe: A Faith-Based Journey Toward Margin by Amy Blevins

The 2017 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

If you clicked on any of the above resources, you probably noticed that they all took you to the same place: The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. This bundle is my absolute favorite thing to buy every year. I am always looking for those supportive mom resources to help me in my own struggles, and I send a fair amount of my "fun" money on these types of ebooks or ecourses. Call me a self-improvement junkie, but it's something I really enjoy doing.

The absolute best thing about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is that it has enough resources (106 this year) to last me a really long time, and all for the incredibly low price of $29.97. 6 of the resources I have highlighted in this post cost more than that by themselves if purchased outside of the bundle. And all 6 of them are courses I know will give me great value and will help me with the things I personally struggle with as a mom.

The worst thing about it is that it is only available for a few days every year. The 2017 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle expires on May 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm. So if you're interested in getting almost $2000 worth of really great resources to help you be a better mother and homemaker for just $29.97, you'll want to be sure you purchase it today.

This is the fourth year that I have purchased this bundle, and I am finding it to be one of the best ever!

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How to Heal Your Gut After a Celiac or Gluten-Intolerant Diagnosis

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Hyperbiotics, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HealthiestDaysAhead

When my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac in the first grade, I thought that simply going off of gluten would be enough to heal her of the major tummy troubles she had been experiencing. As it turns out, I was wrong.

Eliminating gluten from the diet is a very important first step, as gluten is the cause of all the gut damage and continuing to eat it will only result in more gut damage and misery. But there are a few more steps to be taken in order to promote faster gut healing.

Tips for healing the gut after going gluten-free—A diagnosis of Celiac or any type of gluten intolerance usually means that your gut will need a lot of extra help to heal. These ideas will help!

1. Get tested for other food allergies.

Gluten may not be the only culprit in the inflammation you have experienced. In order for your gut to heal completely, it is important that you stay away from all foods that you may be allergic or sensitive to—not just gluten.

2. Consider going on a FODMAPS or GAPS diet.

While you are still in the process of healing, you will also want to stay away from foods that are difficult to digest. I have found that I do much better when I am adhering to the GAPS protocols. Pay attention to how different foods affect your digestion, and stay away from them if they are causing negative symptoms.

My Celiac daughter, now 10 years old, sometimes has gut issues show up when she has been eating too much sugar. Even though she hasn't eaten gluten, the symptoms can be similar. In these cases, I put her back on a stricter diet for a while in order to promote healing.

You will not have to eat this strictly forever, but doing so now will promote much quicker healing and you can then branch out with the foods you eat.

3. Exercise!

Even moderate walking is enough to help get your digestion moving properly because it stimulates the nerves that help with digestion. Sitting for long periods of time will slow down the neurological functions that aid in digestion and contribute to more inflammation.

4. Take a high-quality probiotic, such as hyperbiotics.

Probiotics are helpful for improving gut function, and are even more helpful for those who already have damaged guts due to Celiac disease or other gluten intolerances. We all need those good bacteria in our guts so that our immune systems can work properly.

I have been giving Sophia the Pro-Kids formula from Hyperbiotics. Their line of probiotics is both affordable and effective, which I love. I also love that they are free of gluten (super important for us!), lactose, sugar, soy, nuts, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives. For those who are on a FODMAPS or GAPS diet, they will be safe to take and not cause extra issues.

The Pro-Kids formula is great for kids because they are tiny little pearls that kids ages 4 and up can easily swallow (they taste like tangy orange). My Sophia hates swallowing pills and can get pretty stubborn about doing it, but she has had no problem with the Pro-Kids formula and actually looks forward to taking it.

Hyperbiotics can be found at Target stores. They offer a line that has something for everyone: Pro-Moms for nursing moms, Pro-Women for all women, Pro-15 for everyone, Pro-15 Advanced Strength for those who need a little extra help in the beneficial bacteria department, and Pro-Kids for kids ages 4 and up. If you need to heal your gut, #followyourgut to Target to get yourself a bottle.

Learn more at

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Probiotics support many facets of overall health when taken regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Makes a Good Friend—10 Signs Your Child's Friend is a Good Influence

After my daughter Chloe went through a particularly difficult friendship with a girl who turned out to be a bully, I've thought a lot about what makes a good friend for my children. I am so thankful for the friends who have been good influences in my children's lives. I'm not just grateful for the friendship, I'm grateful for the examples they have set and the way they help my daughters to be their best selves.

I've found that the signs that your child has a good friend are often the exact opposite of the signs that a friend might be a bully or a person who ends up bringing your child down. The other day while Chloe had a friend over, I was noticing what a great friend she was. I've always known it, but that day I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for that friend. They were just sitting on the recliner in our living room reading Harry Potter—one of them in Book 3 and the other in Book 4. They didn't even need to be talking, they were just happy to be together sharing something that they loved.

Want to know how to tell if your child has a friend who is a good influence? These 10 signs are a great way to know what makes a good friend—for adults, too!

There's nothing better to a parent than a good friend for their kid!

10 Signs Your Child's Friend is a Good Influence

1. They are respectful to adults—including you.

One of the first things I noticed with Chloe's bully friend was that she refused to spend time in our home, and wouldn't even look me in the eye, much less talk to me with respect. It was pretty disconcerting as a parent!

The good friends my daughters have all talk to me respectfully and are happy to spend time in our home.

2. They don't expect an exclusive friendship.

Good friends recognize that you can have more than one friend. They do not constantly ask "who is your best friend" and make their friends feel like they have to choose between them and other people. They are able to have fun with your child in a large group of friends (like at a birthday party) or one-on-one, and they don't get jealous if your child spends time with another friend sometimes.

3. They help influence your child to make better choices.

As a parent, this one is huge to me. It's a truly good friend who helps influence your child for good! I love it when friends of my strong-willed, often pushy, daughter Sophia help her to realize she's pushing me too far. I love it when my girls have friends who encourage them to study and do well in school. I love it when their friends choose uplifting movies to watch together.

Peer pressure is awesome when it is helping your child to make good choices that will serve her well in the future!

4. They speak kindly of others.

There is so much ugly gossip that goes around—especially with girls, I've noticed. While I have tried to teach my own daughters to always be kind, I appreciate it when that value is validated by their friends. I notice when the girls my daughters hang out with speak kindly of others and change the subject or stand up for someone if mean gossip begins, and I appreciate it.

5. They treat your child with respect and kindness.

The same kindness they exhibit towards others, is also given to your child. There are no cruel jokes. No making fun of your child. A good friend builds up and doesn't tear down.

6. They practice forgiveness.

Nobody is perfect—not even the best of good friends! And my children certainly aren't perfect. A good friend understands this and forgives when their friends mess up.

7. They stand up for your child when necessary.

A good friend will always have your child's back. If other kids speak unkindly about her, she will set them straight!

8. Your child is happy after spending time with them.

It's my favorite thing to see my kids happy. Chloe was just so darn unhappy when she was hanging out with her bully friend and it hurt my heart to see her like that. When my kids come home from spending time with a friend and they are happy and excited to tell me all about it, I am thankful to that friend for being so great!

9. They listen.

A good friend understands the give and take of conversation. They don't make every conversation all about themselves and they listen when your child has something to say.

10. They love your child.

Most important of all, they truly love your child. I am so thankful for the wonderful friends that my daughters have because I know that they love my kids. And my kids love them.

And guess what? I love them, too.

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 2017 Bonus Visiting Teaching Printable

The April visiting teaching message is titled Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. What we are really focusing on this month is temple covenants and the blessings that come with those covenants. My first printable for this month simply highlighted a scripture about the power of the temple endowment (see that printable here: April Visiting Teaching handout).

For the bonus printable this month, I wanted to use the quote from Elder Ballard that is included in the lesson:

"All those who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, to commune with God to receive the fulness of the gospel, and, ultimately, to become heirs alongside Jesus Christ of all our Father has."

April 2017 visiting teaching handout | All those who have made sacred covenants | temple blessings | M. Russell Ballard | Oath and covenant of the priesthood | free downloadable printable

I hope you and your sisters enjoy this little handout for April!

If you would like to bring temple cookies to your sisters along with one of the handouts, I discovered these temple cookie cutters on Etsy (affiliate link). They are only $4.00 each and there are several temples available. Check them out: Temple Cookie Cutters

To download:

Enter your email in the form below and the printable will be sent directly to your email inbox. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.

If you are looking for more visiting teaching ideas, be sure to join us over on Facebook: LDS Visiting Teaching Ideas

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Fun and Unique Gift Ideas for Tween Girls

Easter is coming up, and now that my girls aren't little anymore I'm never sure what to put in their Easter baskets. It's gotten easier for the older two now that they are full-fledged teenagers, but those tween years are a little more difficult. My youngest daughter is just about to turn 11, and she's into those awkward years where they aren't kids anymore, but they're not quite teenagers yet, either. They still enjoy some kid stuff, but they are starting to transition into more sophisticated interests.

It's enough to give this mom a headache!
tween gift ideas | fun gifts for tween girls | unique gifts for kids and tweens | OshKosh clothing | Brackitz building set | Edible Arrangements Easter gifts | Yum! Spa bath and body products

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Single Edition Media.

Which is why I was excited to receive a box of spring goodies for tween girls. My Sophia loved everything in it, so I can confidently review these items for you with an enthusiastic tween girl endorsement!

New clothes by OshKosh 

Tween girls are just beginning to enjoy receiving clothes as a gift. And Easter is the perfect time to buy them something new and cute and springy that they can also wear into summer. There isn't much better than filling an Easter basket with something practical that you know your daughter will love and that you'd have to buy anyway, right?

OshKosh patch denim shorts and red white and blue tanktop

Sophia received an outfit from OshKosh which included a pair of cute denim shorts—she especially liked the patchwork design detail—and an adorable floral tank top that she can't wait to sport on July 4th (and many other days this summer).

OshKosh blue floral headwrap with bow

She also received a fun headwrap that she has worn almost every day to school since we opened the box.

This spring, OshKosh has a ton of cute stuff for tween girls. There are graphic tees, shorts, swimwear, and things like bike shorts and scooter skirts for super active girls like Sophia. You can check out their entire spring collection on their website here: OshKosh

Note: The items in this post were from Spring 2017. Be sure to check out what OshKosh has available this year!

Edible Arrangements Easter Gifts

Easter baskets usually have to have some chocolate in them, right? But if you are looking for a sweet treat that is fun and unique for your tween's Easter basket, Edible Arrangements are the way to go! All of their arrangements include fruit, so it's also a slightly healthier option than your run-of-the-mill chocolate bunny!

Edible Arrangements swizzle berries are a perfect easter gift, along with some of their other fun spring fruit and chocolate arrangements

They sent us a box of their Bright Swizzle Berries, which the whole family enjoyed—adults, teenagers, and tween alike! The colors made them especially perfect for an Easter basket.

I loved perusing their website to see the other offerings. To see what they've got for Easter, click here: Easter Gifts at Edible Arrangements. I have to say I am in love with the colorful Easter Bunny party arrangements—the Easter bunnies are made out of chocolate covered pineapple!

tween gift ideas | fun gifts for tween girls | unique gifts for kids and tweens | OshKosh clothing | Brackitz building set | Edible Arrangements Easter gifts | Yum! Spa bath and body products

Brackitz Building Toys

Remember how I said that tweens are in the process of leaving childish things behind and transitioning into more mature interests? While that's true, they still enjoy playing with toys—especially if there's a "cool" factor and they don't seem too much like something a little kid would play with.

Building things from their imaginations is always attractive to kids of all ages, so these Brackitz Building Toys Sophia received were really exciting to her. She couldn't wait to open them and start figuring them out!

These Brackitz building sets encourage creativity and help kids learn science, math, and engineering skills. Perfect for tweens.

We got the Driver 43 piece set which includes instructions for building 10 different driving machines. Sophia built a couple of those, and then she started making up her own. This set kept her busy for an entire afternoon!

We also got the Inventor 44 piece set, which inspires creativity and building anything from the imagination! It not only encourages imaginative play, but it helps to instill principles of science, math, and engineering in a fun way.

I really liked how they don't include many instructions—just a bunch of really durable pieces that the kids can make just about anything with. I think Sophia liked that, too.

Yum! Spa Tween Bath and Body Products

One of my favorite things about my girls getting into the tween-age years is that I finally don't have to nag them to bathe. They start actually wanting to! They also start enjoying the fun bath and body items like fruity scented body spray or sparkly lotions.

These cute and sparkly bath and body products by Yum! Spa will be loved by your tween daughter

Sophia received some fun Tutti-Frutti scented items from Yum! Spa that she was really excited about:

2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

Sparkle Lotion

Shimmer and Shine Body Mist

All items are hypoallergenic and paraben-free, but Sophia liked how cute they were, how good they smelled, that they were sparkly and shiny, and that they were just for her. I like that they are inexpensive and that they encourage her to have good hygiene!

Yum! Spa products are also available at WalMart. To get a coupon for 75 cents off, click here: Yum! Spa 75 Cent Coupon

Easter basket gift ideas for tween girls | girly gift basket ideas | gifts for tweens | unique easter basket ideas | Easter gifts

All of these things make great gifts for Easter or any other reason you might give a gift to your tween this spring. Most tween girls I know would be thrilled to receive an Easter basket filled with a cute new outfit, an adorable Edible Arrangement, a fun Brackitz building set, and some sweet-smelling Yum! Spa lotion or shampoo.

Happy shopping!

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

After School Routine Clock for Kids With Variable Schedules {free printable}

I am constantly looking for ways to keep my kids on schedule after school. Not because I want to be the military mom who has them on task and has every single minute scheduled, but because I want them to get the important stuff done so that they can have plenty of time for free play.

The problem I have run into is that if we put free time first, I find it causes the entire family to be more chaotic and things end up not getting done at all. The kids scramble to get homework and projects done before bedtime. If there are extracurriculars in the schedule, such as dance class or music lessons, they get done willy-nilly, and chores are simply forgotten about.

It's amazing to me how much free time we can have if we get the big things out of the way first! My teenagers are usually able to stay on task with a checklist or because they are self-motivated, but my 10-year-old daughter has struggled with this.

I get it. She wants to come home and have fun. But the day is anything but fun when bedtime because a scramble to find the spelling words she needs to study and we argued about doing her chores for longer than it took her to actually do them. On days where she had dance class or another extracurricular activity, sometimes even homework didn't get done.

How to make an after school routine clock | after school schedule | color coded schedule for kids | easy schedule for kids to follow | free printable | kids who have variable schedules | erasable after school routine clock

Because Sophia is extremely strong-willed, I knew she needed something that would help her stay on task independently. When she can take charge, things work much better for her (and for me!). I was searching around the internet for ideas, and I found this after school routine clock and knew it was exactly what I was looking for! The only problem was, the colors on the clock were permanent, and there was no way to change it for a kid whose schedule is different every day.

I figured that was easy enough to fix, so I came up with a way to make both the clock and the accompanying color-coded schedule erasable.

Here's what you need:

(affiliate links)

Supplies needed for erasable after school routine clock: Dry erase markers, printable, 8x10 frame, and clock

Clock (I got a super cheap one at first, and it promptly broke. This one seems to work great and is still inexpensive.)
8x10 photo frame with glass
Dry Erase markers in multiple colors (I like the fine point ones)
Dry Erase board eraser (optional, but it makes it easier)
After School Schedule printable (download below)


1. Download the after school schedule printable by entering your email in the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.

2. Once you have downloaded the printable, cut it down to 8x10 and put it into the frame.

3. Use the dry-erase markers to fill in each circle with a different color. Use the black dry-erase marker to add another activity to the bottom line. For Sophia, it will be used for dance class and chores. But it can be used for anything your child has going on: music lessons, soccer practice, music practice at home, church class, etc.

color coded after school schedule for kids | erasable | after school routine clock | Ideas for keeping kids on task after school

4. Color in the corresponding times on the clock. Rather than taking the back off to permanently color on the clock face, use dry-erase markers to color right onto the plastic face of the clock.

Erasable after school routine clock | for kids with variable schedules | ideas for keeping kids on schedule | color coded printable schedule for kids | after school schedule: homework, chores, dinner, free time, extracurricular activities

5. Hang it up where your child can see it after school!

How to use the after school routine clock:

1. Each night before bed, review the next day's schedule with your child. Have him or her help you color in the clock and come up with a schedule you both can agree on.

How to make an after school routine clock | after school schedule | color coded schedule for kids | easy schedule for kids to follow | free printable | kids who have variable schedules | erasable after school routine clock

2. Remind your child to look at the clock when they get home from school each day. You may need to also remind them when it is time to switch to the next activity. If they finish something faster than the allotted time given, you can give them another option to do until the next time period starts.

3. Enjoy a happier kid who feels in control of her own schedule, but is also getting the important things finished each afternoon!

How to make an after school routine clock | after school schedule | color coded schedule for kids | easy schedule for kids to follow | free printable | kids who have variable schedules | erasable after school routine clock

Since we have used this schedule, Sophia is even going to bed more willingly. She gets herself ready for bed, grabs her latest favorite book (currently the Big Nate Series or the Series of Unfortunate Events), we pray, and she goes right to bed. Consequently, she's happier in the mornings. She likes being able to have long periods of free time, so she gets her homework and chores done quickly. Schedules really do work like a charm!

If you are having similar struggles with your elementary school children, give the after school routine clock a try!

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

April 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout

The April 2017 visiting teaching message is about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. The message includes several wonderful quotes, but I admit I was having a hard time choosing which direction to go with my main printable for this month.

After reading the quotes several times, I realized that I wanted to focus on the temple ordinances part of the priesthood. I especially love how the Lord describes receiving our temple ordinances as being "endowed with power from on high."

April 2017 visiting teaching handout | visiting teaching ideas | free printable for visiting teachers| oath and covenant of the priesthood | There you shall be endowed with power from on high | temple ordinances | temple blessings

When I was a young performing missionary in Nauvoo, I had the opportunity to help give tours in the historic homes there alongside some of the senior missionary couples. One of the homes I helped give tours in was the Heber C. Kimball home, and I'll never forget how part of the tour asked a question of those taking the tour:

"If you had to cross the plains, what would you put in your wagon?"

Many of the answers given were wonderful: tools, food, clothing. I would then explain that those were all important things to bring, but the pioneers also needed to pack their wagons and handcarts with something else. That something was faith and a special power given them in the temple.

The Nauvoo temple stayed open all hours so each member of the church could make their temple covenants and be endowed with that power from on high. I have no doubt that the power the early saints received from the temple gave them the faith and the strength they needed to face the journey they had ahead of them.

Similarly, the power from on high that we receive as we receive our temple endowments and return to the temple often will help us face our own journeys in a difficult world. That is why I chose the scripture from D&C 38:32.

"There you shall be endowed with power from on high."

April 2017 visiting teaching handout | visiting teaching ideas | free printable for visiting teachers| oath and covenant of the priesthood | There you shall be endowed with power from on high | temple ordinances | temple blessings

If you would like to bring temple cookies to your sisters along with one of the handouts, I discovered these temple cookie cutters on Etsy (affiliate link). They are only $4.00 each and there are several temples available. Check them out: Temple Cookie Cutters

To download:

Enter your email into the form below and the visiting teaching printable will be sent directly to you. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.

I recommend sending the file to a photo center such as Walmart or Costco if you don't have a good photo printer at home. I print mine on this Canon printer which does an excellent job. I print it straight onto 5x7 photo paper so it is ready to go into a frame for my sisters.

If you are looking for more great visiting teaching ideas, come join us on Facebook where I share printables designed by many talented bloggers around the internet, ideas for treats and other fun handouts, and lots of visiting teaching inspiration. You can find the page here: LDS Visiting Teaching Ideas.

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